For women, life is a bit like a roller-coaster ride, with regular and monthly ups and downs due to periods. Periods cause cyclic changes in hormones, particularly estrogens and progesterone, causing various physical signs.
Pregnancy causes multiple changes in the body that are not usual for most women. This might help guess whether a woman is pregnant or not.
These signs may not be very dependent; nonetheless, they can provide valuable information. One such sign could be a change in the color and consistency of cervical mucus.
Some commonly used ways to track ovulation/ egg fertilization
It is necessary to know that non-clinical ways might provide reliable information regarding pregnancy by combining multiple signs.
One of the most important and simple ways could be keeping track of ovulation with the help of a calendar. In modern times, it is best to use online ovulation trackers or download some free apps.
Another, very dependable way is to track basal temperature, by measuring the body temperature at the same time each day. Slight rise in the body temperature will indicate ovulation, and one can plan pregnancy accordingly.
Now, add to the methods mentioned above, little knowledge of changes in the consistency of cervical mucus, one may more confidently predict pregnancy.
Some female health specialists also recommend keeping track of changes in emotional states. Increased anxiety or other emotional changes over the period might say about hormonal issues related to sexual health.
Needless to say, that fertility test is the most dependable way.
How can one track changes in cervical mucus?
It is good to know your cervical mucus and changes during the cycle well, as it might not only help predict pregnancy but may help prevent infections or other disorders.
One can keep track in many ways, like regularly checking the quality of mucus by inserting a clean finger into the vagina.
One can also use toilet paper to wipe the opening of the vagina to see the color and consistency of mucus. Another way could be to check the underwear or panty liner frequently.
How cervical mucus changes during the cycle
Most women would see cyclic changes during the periods. And if one knows her body and mucus characteristics well, one may identify pregnancy due to sudden and unusual changes.
After the menstruation, the production of mucus will start increasing slowly. The initial few days may be quite dry. Gradually, as the body prepares for ovulation, the amount of mucus also increases, and in many cases, it may be quite a sticky and bit cloudy.
During ovulation, mucus production is at a maximum. Thus, it may be transparent. It may be very close to egg white. During this phase, women are most fertile with the highest chances of conceiving a baby.
After ovulation, the quantity of mucus again starts decline, as the body prepares to shed the inner lining of the uterus – in case, pregnancy has not occurred.
Grainy cervical mucus
One of the issues with tracking cervical mucus is substantial individual differences. This means that all women should track and know their mucus well.
Some women may frequently see thick and cloudy mucus before ovulation, or grainy cervical mucus for some women might say about pregnancy if that is not usual for them.
Experienced women health specialists recommend that all ladies should track changes in their mucus, and use the same words to describe it throughout the cycle.
Some of the common terms used to describe could be transparent, rubbery, dry, cloudy, grainy, lotiony, slippery, watery, lubricative, and so on.
Recent changes in the quality of mucus, not seen earlier, might predict pregnancy. In the absence of pregnancy, they might say about hormonal changes, alterations in sexual desire, and even infertility.
It is essential to know that grainy and cheesy (white or cream-colored grains) may indicate the over activity of yeast or may also indicate a fungal infection.
Does cervical mucus change after implantation?
Yes, it definitely does and is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Regretfully, it is not a very sure sign. Most women would see sudden and stark changes in cervical mucus within 24-48 hours of implantation.
After implantation, mucus would become thicker and sticky. Another vital thing to keep in mind is something called implantation bleeding.
Women would not expect any bleeding or blood in mucus in the middle of the cycle. However, implantation may cause small bleeding in some, and it is more commonly seen a little later.
Implantation bleeding is most commonly noticed 6-12 days after implantation and might be confused with the early menstrual cycle.
But it would differ in a way that no heavy bleeding would ensue; it would only cause few spots on the underwear or panty liner.
Further, as the pregnancy progresses, it causes immense hormonal changes, and thus continual changes in the mucus characteristics. Usually, it would become thicker and cloudier. Many women may see yellow mucus during early pregnancy.
Finally, it is essential to understand that birth-control pills also influence the characteristics of cervical mucus in a very unpredictable way.
Pregnancy planning using cervical mucus method
It might not be the best way to do so but may be preferred by many women due to its ease. It is a simple way in which women study her mucus carefully for a few cycles.
It is vital to use the same words to describe it each time. Finally, one might be able to predict ovulation based on changes in mucus only.
It is good for women to know about the pattern of cyclic changes in their cervical mucus. Any unexpected change may tell about hormonal changes either due to some health issue or due to pregnancy.
For those planning a pregnancy, the cervical mucus method might be a good option. However, it is not a dependable way for those avoiding pregnancy.